The Australian Association of Franchisees (AAF)
Our primary purpose is to provide a united voice for franchisees. This can relate to specific regulatory arrangements for franchisees, for example, the franchising code. Or, it can relate to other policy issues such as competition policy, taxation, or unfair contract terms legislation.
Our secondary purpose is to provide franchisees with the support they need. This can be around their rights and responsibilities, or how to manage disputes with their franchisor, including the coordination and representation of groups of franchisees in multi party disputes with franchisors.
The AAF value proposition
AAF does provide support for individual franchisees and groups of franchisees experiencing difficulties.
This takes a variety of forms. We can use our status and independence to intervene with franchisors.
We can, and do, support and guide franchisees who want to utilize the conflict resolution protocols that are contained in the franchising code. We have also acted as advocates and representative in the mediation process.
We can, and do, act on behalf of franchisees seeking intervention from the ACCC, as the code regulator.
Where legal representation is required, we have been able to use our perceived clout, to negotiate discount rates with law firms.
We are working on negotiating a raft of other support services including employee relations, Workplace health and safety, risk management and financial advice. There is also scope to get group deals on insurance. The challenge is that we do not have the membership base as yet to provide the necessary volumes. We have used current affairs programmes, to highlight disputes.
Our primary role as a peak body is to represent the policy and public relations interests of franchisees.
We are in constant contact with the Australian Small business and franchising enterprise Ombudsman on behalf of members. We are members of the ACCC Small Business Consultative Group and actively advocate around consumer and small business interests.
We have strong relationships with Ministers, Shadow Ministers, and Senators with an interest in franchising reform.
We are now actively engaged with the Chairman of the Franchising code review, Dr. Michael Schaper. We are meeting with him in Canberra next week. He has also asked us to organize round table meetings with franchisees.
There are approximately 80,000 current franchisees in Australia who are potential members. There are also franchisees who have left the sector, who have reasons to want to support reform. In addition, there are lawyers and advisors who also understand and support the franchising reform cause.
Until recently, 2019, the only franchising lobby has been the Franchise Council of Australia, representing franchisors. In the past they have pretended to represent franchisees as well, however their advocacy has always been to oppose any reform that created rights for franchisees. In reality it is like the Business Council pretending to be the ACTU as well.
In the time since our formation in early 2019, AAF has achieved recognition by politicians, bureaucrats and regulators. We are the organization that government and regulators look to for franchisee input. For example, we are members of the ACCC small business and franchising consultative committee.
Where we have been less successful, is in the growth of the membership base. We have had many members who have come and gone, because they have come with a crisis, we have helped them, but mostly the outcome has been for them to get out on reasonable terms. They quickly move on.
The need is to create reasons for franchisees who are not in crisis to see the value in membership.
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We regularly advertise opportunities for companies to become preferred suppliers of the Australian Association of Franchisees. If you think our members could benefit from your products or services, and you have the facility to supply our large network of franchisees nationally, please contact us.
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AAF PTY LTD
C/- Hicks Oakley Chessell Williams
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1 Ricketts Road
Mount Waverly VIC 3149
03 9034 8633
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